For some reason my iPad won't copy and paste the article, so just click the link to read it.http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-trian ... ta-falcons
A fairly good read. I do feel better about this team's potential after last week's win. If they can keep that up maybe this team is "for real." But one note in the article about our improvement on defense, I'm not so sure I buy that. Our third down defense according to the official numbers at NFL.com are different than those cited in the article. We've allowed 42% conversion which is in fact 10th worst in the league, not 6th best. Our 3rd down defense and yards per play (which IMO are more reliable measures of which defenses are stingiest) are about on par with what they were last year.
Instead I think the biggest diff ends aside from the strength of schedule, is the improvement of the offense, particularly the passing game. And that improvement is largely because Matt Ryan is playing better.
Ryan is taking a bit more shots downfield, and has been much more accurate with his vertical throws than he was last year, coupled with how much he's improved in the pocket. Before one of the more common knocks on Ryan was that he needed a clean pocket, which I think was accurate. But this year, Ryan has done a much better job navigating the pocket and still finding windows with interior and edge pressure.
Even if Ryan only improved 25% in either area, I think it has directly translated to 25% improvement in the entire team.
I do think the coordinators have been pivotal as well, maybe not in the sense that they are getting a bunch more from their respective sides of the ball, but it may simply boil down to teams now having to scrap those 3-year old game plans and having new wrinkles to adjust to.